News : Middle East
- Published: Tuesday, 21 January 2020
After the deaths of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the mullahs in Tehran have been desperately trying to paint these murderers as popular and beloved.
The Iraqi people firmly rejected this propaganda and launched into another day of protests on Sunday. They set fire to Soleimani billboards and the office of the “al-Wafa movement”, a militia group linked to the mullahs’ regime. In Kufa, demonstrators torched an office associated with a parliamentary group linked to the mullahs’ regime, while protesters in Dhi Qar chanted slogans against Iraq’s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who has failed to find the killers of civil activists.
In Karbala, locals reiterated their demands for a complete government overhaul, with corrupt political parties stepping down, and an end to Iranian influence in their country. Students in various provinces of Babylon, Diwaniya, and al-Mothana were also taking part in the demonstrations.
While reports that night showed escalating clashes between protesters and security forces in the cities of Baghdad, Nasiriyah, Basrah, and others, with several reports saying that Iran-backed militia groups, like the Popular Mobilization Forces, used live ammunition against protesters.
In Baghdad, protesters clashed with oppressive forces, who used tear gas and sound bombs to disperse the crowds. The people stood their ground, with the organizing committee of Iraqi demonstrations vowing to stand with them.
This followed protests in Najaf on Saturday, where protesters set fire to the office of Kata’ib Hezbollah, another militia group linked to Iran. Protesters there also took over various roads, bridges, and even the city’s airport entrance to prevent government forces from arriving.
Another demonstrator succumbed to a bullet wound sustained Monday in the city of Baquba, where at least 50 demonstrators were wounded, medical sources said.
Two protesters died on Tuesday as police fought running street battles with anti-government demonstrators, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse stone-throwing youths demanding reform of what they see as a corrupt political system.
The demonstrators’ anger is due to the increased collaboration between Iran-backed Iraqi militias and the Iranian Intelligence Ministry over assassinating political activists in Iraq. The demonstrators had set a deadline that expired on Friday, so with their demands not met they encouraged others into the streets.
Following the protests, administrative offices were closed in Najaf.
Even though Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the mullahs’ regime have attempted to maintain power over the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people are refusing to succumb. The death of Soleimani weakened Iran and its status in Iraq, so the Iraqi people are taking advantage to pursue their rightful demands of a government of the Iraqi people and by the Iraqi people, and especially ridding their country of the regime’s malign influence.